(April 11, 2:20 p.m.) HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — Nearly 145 vendors and about 350 Sobeys, Foodland and Price Chopper store and produce managers gathered here for Sobeys Inc.’s Atlantic division’s third produce trade show. Companies introduced new products and services during the show, April 6-8.

Les Aliments Bercy

Les Aliments Bercy, an affiliate of Courchesne Larose Ltee., Montreal, introduced its new Bio line of organic produce that is packed in biodegradable cardboard trays with perforated plastic overwrap. The cardboard degrades within about five years, said saleswoman Audrey Menard. The company is working on adding eco-friendly plastic, labels and ink.

Les Aliments Bercy distributes produce under the Delicioso! and Buenisima! labels. The Bio line, which has about 50 stock-keeping-units, is shipped in bright green boxes, designed so retailers may quickly recognize the items as organic, said Laurent Fortier, consultant.

Centre Maraicher

Centre Maraicher Eugene Guinois Jr., Sainte Clotilde, Quebec, is launching a new 2-bunch bag of iceless green onions, said Daniel Guinois, vice president. The onions will be packed in perforated recyclable plastic bags and have a shelf life of about 30 days, Guinois said.

Centre Maraicher markets produce under the Little Junior brand.

Crown Jewels

Crown Jewels Marketing & Distribution LLC, Fresno, Calif., is offering a box of specialty plums under a new “Sweet & Juicy” label, said Steve Poindexter, managing partner. The plums are California-grown hybrids with brix levels between 16 and 20.

The plums are to be packed in a high-graphics box. The company redesigned its tree fruit boxes, and Poindexter said he expects to begin shipping in the new high-graphics boxes in late May.

Dominion Citrus

Dominion Citrus Ltd., Toronto, introduced its Country Fresh line of fresh-cut vegetables in microwaveable packages to the Maritime provinces. The line includes a 6-ounce package of asparagus that has an 18-day shelf life, said Domenic Bellanza, category director.

The package can save retailers time because it can be shingled in displays, so the next package automatically moves forward when the first is removed. It also eliminates the need for the asparagus to be kept standing in cold water.

Other items in the microwaveable packages include Mayan super sweet corn, shelled English peas and blue lake green beans. Packages range in weight from 6 ounces to 12 ounces, depending on the product. The suggested retail price in Canada is $3.49-$3.99, Bellanza said. The line is also available in Ontario and the U.S.

Emballages Marcan

Dino Impala, general manager for Emballages Marcan Inc., Boucherville, Quebec, said the company began using only recyclable packaging within about the past eight months. The recyclable punnets, netting, bags and other materials are manufactured by the Spanish company Giro and by two Italian companies, Infia and Netpack.

Emballages Marcan specializes in onions. Its main supplier is Peri & Sons Inc., Yerington, Nev. Impala said the company prefers to source only pesticide-residue-free onions, and it is able to do so for about eight months out of the year. He said he hopes to eventually source them year-round.

Les Fermes Gam Michaud Farms

Saint-Andre, New Brunswick-based Les Fermes GAM Michaud Farms is packing potatoes in new 5- and 10-pound paper bags that were designed in cooperation with Potatoes New Brunswick, a commodity board in Grand-Falls, said Marcel Michaud, owner. The bags feature four different potato recipes in French and English.

Demand is strong for locally grown potatoes in New Brunswick, Michaud said.

Last fall, the company also began packing in redesigned 5-pound poly bags. The colors at the bottom of the bags coordinate with the colors of the potatoes packed in the bags, Michaud said. The company grows and packs yellow, red, blue and brown potatoes.

Fisher Capespan

In mid- to late April, Fisher Capespan LLC, Montreal, is expected to begin shipping organic O’linda valencia oranges, said Paul Marier, sales and marketing director. The oranges are a seedless variety that’s similar to the midknight valencia, he said.

The oranges are grown in Mexico and will be available for shipment in the U.S. and Canada, Marier said.

Highline Mushrooms

Leamington, Ontario-based Highline Mushrooms chairwoman Liz O’Neil said the company is preparing to introduce thick-sliced steak-cut mushrooms in 8-ounce packages. The mushrooms are expected to be available this summer, after the company completes the label design for the product.

Highline also is testing biodegradable packaging containing bamboo fiber for its organic mushrooms.


Potato seed supplier, HZPC Americas Corp., Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, showed its newest potato that’s ready for commercial production, the Cecile. The potato is a gourmet fingerling with red skin and yellow flesh, said Lorraine MacKinnon, marketing and sales manager.

Mason & Sons

J.W. Mason and Sons Ltd., Windsor, Nova Scotia, is now packing apples in 4- and 6-count clamshells, said Gordon Lemmon, marketing and promotions manager. Mason & Sons grows and packs macintosh, cortlands, golden delicious and honeycrisp apples.

Mastronardi Produce

Mastronardi Produce Ltd., Kingsville, Ontario, plans to introduce in late April a new proprietary cherry tomato, said Kevin Safrance, vice president of operations. The tomato will be marketed as the Champagne tomato-on-the-vine. For children, it will be marketed as the Mimi tomato, Safrance said.

The tomato is expected to be available in limited quantities this season, but Mastronardi plans to plant more acreage for commercial production next season.

Mucci International

Mucci International Marketing Inc., Kingsville, Ontario, plans to introduce a new line of cocktail tomatoes in May, said Danny Mucci, vice president. The tomatoes initially will be sold only in Costco Wholesale Canada Ltd. Stores.

Noble Worldwide

Danny Arnold, director of sales for Noble Worldwide, the sales division of Winter Haven, Fla.-based Wm. G. Roe and Sons Inc., said the company began offering blueberries in early April. Clamshells with 4.4 ounces of large and jumbo Florida-grown blueberries are available.

Next year, Noble might carry more sizes of clamshells of blueberries, Arnold said.

Nova Agri

The Nova Agri Group, Centreville, Nova Scotia, recently began importing coquena squash from Argentina, said Andrea Palmer, marketing manager. The squash is available in limited quantities this season. It’s sold in bulk in bushels that are priced at about $29 in Canada.

Palmer said the coquena has a darker flesh and sweeter taste than the butternut squash.

Premier Fruits & Legumes

In about February, Montreal-based Premier Fruits & Legumes BBL Inc. introduced its new 9-ounce clamshell of strawberry tomatoes-on-the-vine, said Paul D’Entremont, fruit and procurement manager. A 12-pack wholesales in Canada for about $24.

The company distributes to Quebec, eastern Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces, and is working to expand its distribution, D’Entremont said.


Saladexpress Inc., Saint-Remi, Quebec, in October introduced fresh-cut Country Style Vegetables in 16-ounce bags that retail for about $3.99, said Claudine Verge, saleswoman. The Country Style Vegetables contains a blend of fresh-cut zucchinis, carrots, celery, red onions, cabbages and leeks. It is marketed as ready-to-cook vegetables for stews and other recipes.

In September, Saladexpress plans to introduce julienned vegetable pack containing carrots, broccoli and turnips, Verge said. It also has a stir-fry blend in the works, which will consist of diced red and white onions, sliced carrots, snow peas, and cut celery and broccoli.

All of the packages are microwaveable, Verge said.

San Miguel Produce

Jan Berk, vice president of marketing and business development for grower-processor San Miguel Produce Inc., Oxnard, Calif., said the company’s Cut ‘N Clean Greens ready-to-cook greens are new to Canada. San Miguel Produce collected feedback last year from Sobeys produce managers, using it to create new products.

Five varieties of fresh-cut greens are available in 10-ounce packages in the Canadian market: beet greens, green chard, kale, Euro Greens (a blend of swiss chard, mustard, turnip and kale), and Country Greens (a blend of collard, mustard and turnip greens). A 16-ounce package of turnip greens also is available. The suggested retail price in Canada is $2.50-$3.00, Berk said.

Veg Pro

Veg Pro International, Sherrington, Quebec, is offering new Fresh Attitude-brand salads in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, said Sylvain Racette, vice president of sales and marketing. The salads are packed by Irwindale, Calif.-based Ready Pac Foods Inc., with forks in bowls that have dividers to keep ingredients separate.

Six varieties are packed with dressing: chef salad; chicken cranberry walnut; spinach bacon; chicken caesar; greek; and cobb. All except the cobb salad are packed without dressing, Racette said.

Last fall, Veg Pro also introduced to its Fresh Attitude line a 5-ounce clamshell of arugula and two new 5-ounce salad blends to the Ontario and Quebec marketplaces, Racette said. The San Marino Mix contains arugula, spinach, lollo rosa, mizuna, green romaine, tatsoi, baby red leaf, and red oak. The Oriental Mix contains tatsoi, red spinach, mizuna, red mustard, green leaf, red leaf, swiss chard and spinach.